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January 11, 2006

Iran's President Acts Like There's No Tomorrow

Why is Iran thumbing its nose at international organizations with regards to its nuclear program? One reason may be that the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, believes that the Shi'ite "messiah", the Twelfth Imam or Mahdi, will be returning very soon. He's making serious preparations for it, including having a special train line built to a holy city involved in the story of his return. Daniel Pipes has the details. If Ahmadinejad believes that the return is imminent, you can see why he may be inclined to ignore all the urgings, reports and diplomatic words of concern over his nuclear aspirations.

Posted by Doug at January 11, 2006 12:46 PM

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» Iranian President May Be Planning Apocalypse from Michael Williams -- Master of None
Esteemed expert on Middle Eastern affairs Daniel Pipes suggests that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may be ratcheting up his nuclear ambitions because of his belief in an imminent Islamic apocalypse. Mahdaviat derives from mahdi, Arabic for "rig... [Read More]

Tracked on January 13, 2006 07:12 PM

» The Shi'ite Mahdaviat and the fate of Iran from Mike's Noise
Here are two good articles on the mahdaviat, or return of the 12th Imam of Shi'ite Islam, an event that devout Shi'ites believe will usher in a divine era of peace and justice through the divine imposition of Islamic law.Iranian [Read More]

Tracked on January 24, 2006 11:18 PM


Does that also mean that he himself isn't serious about his own nuclear aspirations? That maybe he's just having fun watching all of us freak out about it? We can only hope. :)

Posted by: Abigail at January 11, 2006 07:54 PM

One wonders if the Iranian president wants to use nukes to initiate the return/end of the world. This world event is the stuff of bestsellers (and I am not being flippant). Religiously thinking, I’d say that here is the difference between Christian Fundamentalism and Islamic Fundamentalism. Christians have had access to Nukes for decades and have never proposed, intimated or in anyway considered nuking someone for religious reasons . . . well off hand I can’t think of one incident anyway.

Posted by: William at January 12, 2006 09:31 AM be fair, Ahmadinejad never says he plans on nuking anyone for religious reasons in that story, did he? He just indicated that he believes we're living in the "End Times," a commonality with many fundamentalists, right?

And so I would say that I don't trust any national leader much whose religion tells them they don't need to be responsible in their care for this creation, that it's okay to kill others, that "the End's not far away, so what's the problem with a little nuclear war? A little Climate Change?"

And I HAVE heard that from Christians. I wouldn't vote for Ahmadinejad or for them.

Posted by: Dan Trabue at January 12, 2006 12:00 PM be fair, Ahmadinejad never says he plans on nuking anyone for religious reasons in that story, did he?

Correct, he didn't. Although he has been quoted as wanting to wipe Israel off the map.

(And I HAVEN'T heard that from Christians.)

Posted by: Doug Payton at January 12, 2006 01:56 PM

Ummm, I haven’t heard ‘it’ said from any Christians, and anecdotal information is pointless to use. But Iran is a theocracy—i.e. a religious government in the strictest meaning of the word.

Now, let’s see:

A. Agence France Presse (one of many news services) reports:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" . . . .

B. This statement was made after the Iranian decision was made to defy the UN and comment the enriching of uranium.

You can be ‘honest’ all you want but that doesn’t change Ahmadinejad’s statement or the fact that they broke UN seals to the uranium enrichment facilities.

Be honest all you want—but the fact is Iran is going to enrich uranium and China has been giving Iran missile technology. And I don’t think Ahmadinejad cares if you wouldn’t vote for him.

Posted by: William at January 12, 2006 02:11 PM

My point wasn't to defend Ahmadinejad but to critique fundamentalism.

Posted by: Dan Trabue at January 13, 2006 07:07 AM

"the End's not far away, so what's the problem with a little nuclear war? A little Climate Change?"

Who in the world have you heard advocating "a little nuclear war" on the basis that the End is Nigh?

As for Climate Change, you can't stop it, nor can you start it. It just happens. On a geologic time-scale we're about due for an ice age.

Posted by: eLarson at January 13, 2006 10:13 AM

We could debate about climate change but let's not. You cannot deny, though, that we have an environmental impact. Our streams in my city are not safe to swim in or fish from, and you know why? We have negatively impacted God's good creation.

As to who have I heard advocating nuclear war and not worrying about it based on End Time Theology (TM)? Roger, Danny, Robert... Are you NOT aware of believers out there with this position?

Posted by: Dan Trabue at January 13, 2006 11:07 AM

Nobody I know has that position.

I've heard plenty of people calling for a massive nuking of the Middle East--let's make [fill in the blank] a big glass parking lot!"--but hardly on eschatological grounds. In fact I wouldn't guess whether they are believers of any stripe.

You cannot deny, though, that we have an environmental impact.

Of course not. But that's a far cry from "Global Warming".

Posted by: eLarson at January 13, 2006 04:18 PM

Okay then, if it's just the phrase "global warming" that troubles you, drop it. Let's change our behavior and policies because we're having a negative environmental impact.

Shall we rally 'round that effort then?

Posted by: Dan Trabue at January 14, 2006 01:46 PM

Who needs end-time theology when one of the most popular right-wing so-called journalists is already trying to whip the public into a frenzy of fear and hatred by saying that THE U.S. HAS NO CHOICE NOW BUT TO BOMB IRAN OR AL QAEDA WILL ATTACK US WITH NUKES. Despite saying before the Iraq war that he would be very upset if it turned out that Bush was wrong about Saddam having WMD, O'Reilly is repeating the same scare tactic that was used to justify invading Iraq: we "can't take [the] chance" that Iran might get the bomb, so "it's just a matter of when we're gonna bomb the country of Iran."

From the January 10 edition of The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:

O'REILLY: Mohamed ElBaradei has told the United Nations that Iran will begin uranium enrichment work, contradicting previous statements from the mullahs who run Iran. So look, it's just a matter of time, ladies and gentlemen, before we have to bomb that country. So it's like the bird flu. You know, bird flu, we gotta keep an eye on it 'cause it's -- it looks like its coming here.

HILL: I thought France and Germany were handling this Iran situation.

O'REILLY: Yeah, OK. That was E.D. Hill in the Land of Oz, ladies and gentlemen. So, it's a matter of time before the United States of America and Great Britain will have to bomb the country of Iran. Get set. Get set. 'Cause they're not gonna leave it to Israel to do it this time, because you can't allow that country to get nuclear weapons. Now, the nutty left will say, "Oh, yeah, let 'em have nuclear weapons." Now this, ladies and gentlemen, is why you've gotta walk away from those people. Because once that happens, once a country like Iran gets the ability to manufacture a nuclear weapon of any kind, Al Qaeda's gonna get it, and they're gonna use it. I mean, that's what's gonna happen. So no sane person could take that chance. Therefore, it's just a matter of when we're gonna bomb the country of Iran.

What O'Reilly and others fail to consider is that if Bush hadn't referred to Iran as part of the "axis of evil" and refused to negotiate with its representatives, it is more likely that the moderates/reformers wouldn't have been labeled by the extremists in Iran as pro-U.S. and stripped of power. If that hadn't happened, there is a much greater likelihood that the current kooky president of Iran wouldn't have been elected.

Posted by: dem at January 14, 2006 06:50 PM

Huh! You mean words matter? Diplomacy matters?

But isn't diplomacy just for losers?

Posted by: Dan Trabue at January 15, 2006 08:27 AM

I also forgot to mention - though it should be obvious to anyone - that the U.S. presence in Iraq contributed to the dissolution of the moderate movement in Iran. Thanks for that too, George!

Posted by: dem at January 15, 2006 08:52 PM

If Bush gets blame for Iranians behaving badly, then he should get credit for all the other nations in the region suddenly deciding to take steps of reform like Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority (though that might be just window dressing) and Libya (Kaddafi's sudden cooperation).

Posted by: Doug Payton at January 16, 2006 12:32 PM

What O'Reilly and others fail to consider is that if Bush hadn't referred to Iran as part of the "axis of evil" and refused to negotiate with its representatives, it is more likely that the moderates/reformers wouldn't have been labeled by the extremists in Iran as pro-U.S. and stripped of power.
I don't see that as a necessary cause. If you have hardliners trying to consolidate power, just being "moderate" is excuse enough.

If that hadn't happened, there is a much greater likelihood that the current kooky president of Iran wouldn't have been elected.

But at least you agree that he is 'kooky'. I wonder what Jimmy Carter thinks of him.

Posted by: eLarson at January 17, 2006 01:19 PM

i'm an iranian and must first talk that my english isn't good. i hope ,i could experess my viewpoint goodly! However excuse me for my bad english.
i voted to Ahmadinejad last summer. i liked and like him (at least to now). Of course i don't accept all of his ideas.

i think you and your society have a little information from Islam, Shi'ite and Oriental civilizations.
(i think)you think:
Islam = Bin Laden
Islam = Terrorism
Islam = Bomb
and ...

While these have very very distance from really islam. It's clear for us that Bin Laden is a big enemy of islam. Even a lot of us, think that he is a west's man for impairing the face of Islam. i asked from you: US has occupied Afghanistan and Iraq. Where is him?

i have a clear question: How many iraqis have killed in Iraq? How many US soldiers have killed? Please check this! Do you think you (or better talk your goverments) want to bring for iraqis and muslims peace and freedom? Do you think we must believe this? i (and plenty of Middle East's poeple) simply guess you follow your financial, political and etc benefits merely.

i recommend you follow all of Ahmadinejad's talks; Not only which are magnifyed by your media.

We also have rihgts to leave in the world and have our believes. We don't want impose our believes to others. We love peace, freedom, ... . We want our rights solely.

We are at wait for Imam Mahdi. He will come. We believe that is God's promise. Samely you are at wait for Messiah. We trust in God, samely you are!

i should talk that we believe Imam Mahdi and Messiah will appear at same time while they will together...

Courteously, i recommend to study more and to talk carefully.

an iranian boy.

Posted by: an iranian boy at January 19, 2006 03:44 PM

"i ask from you: US has occupied ..."
"We also have rights to live in the world..."

i'm sorry! (i have told my english isn't good.)

Posted by: an iranian boy at January 20, 2006 08:29 AM

Thank you very much for your comments. However, while I have no reason to doubt or question your own motivations, the comments made by your President and his actions regarding nuclear materials is a definite cause for concern. When he says he wants Israel "wiped off the map" and then ignores agreements he has made regarding nuclear materials, he doesn't sound at all like he is interested in the freedom of other countries, particularly Israel, to exist, and has a possible way to try to bring that about. Don't they have a right to live in the world and have their beliefs? He may say other things about peace and freedom, but his statements against Israel don't line up with that.

While the deaths of civilians in Iraq, and all civilian deaths in a war, are regrettable and a tragedy, there is no moral equivalent between wishing to utterly destroy a country and giving the governing of a country to its people. Freedom and peace are both high ideals, but if you think Iraq was "peaceful" while Saddam was killing thousands upons thousands in mass graves and raping women when he wanted, then you and I have different definitions of "peace". Peace isn't just the absence of war.

Thank you again for stopping by and sharing your opinion.

Posted by: Doug Payton at January 20, 2006 12:35 PM

i must (despite my problem with your language) explain some things.

First about Saddam:
We (Iranian) had a bloody war with him for 8 years. i can remember his bombardments at night clearly (When i’m a child, in Tehran). We lost about 300000 persons in this war. He used chemical weapons which are given by West’ governments (especially Germany). He used rockets which are given by Germany. These rockets arrived to Tehran. May be this distance is over 1000 KMs. France gave modern fighters to him. You must understand our feeling about Saddam; also our feeling about your governments! Certainly, we (Iranian) are the biggest Saddam’s victims. You can check this.

We never used chemical weapon against Iraqis. While Saddam was bombarding our cities and was killing our guiltless compatriots, Iraq’s cities were safe. May be you think this is foolishly! You must know we believe cities’ people not included in the war. We believe using chemical weapon is forbidden. This is an Islamic (and a human) rule. Again you can check my claims.
Certainly, we never support Saddam; it’s completely clear!!!
Cool is that your accused governments, themselves are plaintiffs. They talk Iran is a part of "axis of evil"! When a country, never used chemical weapons against its straight enemy (Saddam who used these), can be a part of "axis of evil"?
We are in doubt about West’s intentions. Do you know when Saddam attacked to Kuwait, Shi'ite Iraqis made a wide insurrection against Saddam? Do you know US permitted and helped Saddam to repressive this insurrection? Do you know at least 30000 Shi'ites was killed and placed “in mass graves”? You can check this information freely. Also i have no personal profit to cheat you!

Second about Israel:
About 70 years ago, a country with name Palestine was in the world map and there wasn’t Israel. Suddenly, in about 1948, Israel bore!
In fact, this is Palestine which “wiped off the map” practically! Do you know where Palestinians are? Did they vanish from the Earth? Certainly NO! Do they have any rights to live peacefully? Are they humans?! What is your opinion? What do you think about Israeli governments? West repeatedly talk about terrorists. I have a clear question: People who strive for acquiring their country, are terrorists? Your governments repeatedly talk that Hezbollah are terrorists. Why? i tell you! Because Israel in 1982 occupied their country and finally they can recapture it!

Unfortunately, it’s West logic! It’s force logic…

But about Ahmadinejad’s talk. He (and other our governments) repeatedly talk that we never suggest using force for solving Palestinian-Israeli problem. We suggest democracy. i don’t want again explain their statements. You can follow these, through Iranian media (Not in your media, unfortunately!).
His statement about Israel only was an ideal for having a world without Zionists’ tyrannies. He expressed this statement in a conference with name: “The World without Zionism”. Zionism isn’t equal to Judaism.
Then it’s necessary, i notify our country, up to now, never claim that want nuclear weapons and IAEA up to now, couldn’t render any evidence to prove contrary of our claimants.

We believe using of nuclear weapons is forbidden in Islam. We never want to use force for solving international problems.

Of course we believe any (talk ANY) tyrannous base, cannot alive for always in the world. It’s God’s promise. We trust in God.

Excuse me for my straight tone, Thanks.

Posted by: an iranian boy at January 21, 2006 05:36 PM

With regards to your English, I'm understanding you just fine. Thank you for giving it an effort.

Regarding Saddam, I have no doubt that your country has suffered from the horrible acts of Hussein. All I was saying is that you seemed to be equating the killing of Iranians and Iraqis by Saddam in his evil cause of keeping and gaining power for himself (especially killing his own civilians) with the deaths resulting from a war to, among other things, remove him from power and give the governing of the country to the Iraqi people. I'm not denying that civilians died, but the numbers have been less that Saddam's average, and for a far greater purpose than he ever had. I don't think you can compare the two.

Regarding Israel, you may want to look over a history of the region. Yes, the British did have a portion of the old Ottoman Empire called Palestine. It included what is today Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza strip and Jordan. In 1923, Britian divided this up into Arab and Jewish areas; 25% was Palestine for the Jews (west of the Jordan River) and 75% was Trans-Jordan (now just "Jordan") for the Arabs. The Palestinian Arabs had their own homeland, but they've been attacking Jews in their 25% every since. So no, there was not ever an Arab state called Palestine.

Do the Palestinian Arabs have the right to live? Yes, and they did--in Jordan--until such time as a new ethnic "Palestinian" was invented to create a claim for the land that is now Israel. In essence, Palestinians are really Jordanians, but they are not only used as pawns to get rid of Israel, they're treated worse in the Arab countries, where they're considered just "refugees" and in some cases not allowed citizenship, than Arabs living in Israel itself.

People who want their own country are not terrorists. However, people who specifically target civilians are, and that is how the "Palestinians" have been waging their fight for a country.

Ahmadinejad may talk about wanting democracy, but when so many people and groups wanting to run for government positions are excluded because they want reform, that doesn't sound like democracy. When Iran is supporting the insurgency in Iraq against a democratically elected government, that doesn't sound like the actions of someone promoting democracy. And when that same president starts ignoring agreements he made regarding nuclear materials, it shouldn't surprise you that the world gets nervous, especially when he talks about wiping a country off the map.

Thank you for your straight talk. I hope you will also accept mine.

Posted by: Doug Payton at January 23, 2006 08:58 AM

Hello, again!


About Israel:

i thank for your information. i should add some things. As you talk, Britain and UN partitioned Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, an arrangement rejected by the Arabs. There are some things. Did UN has right to partition a country simply? If people of that county reject this, what do us?

In addition, this is not our entire problem. If Jews who are in Israel, really have belonged to this land; we may be could accept (?) this partitioning.

Problem is that many of Israelis people don’t belong to this land. For example: Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, has born in Tehran; or their President Moshe Katzav, has belonged to Yazd (a province is in the center of Iran). In fact, we and some of them are compatriot! Think! Ahmadinejad and Mofaz are compatriot!!!

i don’t know do you hear this phrase: “The land without people [Palestinians] and the people [Israelis] without land”. It isn’t true we throw out some people from their land and substitute some others.

Now, we confront with millions of people that haven’t any land. They threw out from their land forcibly and are wanderer many years. Palestinians, who are in Israel, also haven’t good conditions.

Israel annoys Palestinians freely without regarding to any law. Some of them believe they are Master Race. In fact, some of them apparently are racists.

Also, we (Muslims) have big worries about Israel. Do you know some radical Israelis, believe that their really land widen from Nil (in Egypt) until Forat (in Iraq)? Do you know some of them want to destroy Al-Aghsa Mosque? Our 3 most important and holy mosques in the world are: Al-Haram Mosque and Al-Nabi Mosque (in Saudi Arabia) and Al-Aghsa Mosque in Palestine.

Why Jerusalem must belong to them?

In addition, did Israel has right to occupy South of Lebanon? Why USA support Israel and accuse Hezbollah to terrorism? Do you hear thing about Sabra and Shatila? Are Sharon terrorist or not?

We must accept there isn’t justice.

However we think, only all of people of this land (Muslims, Christians, Jews and others) who belong to it originally, have right to decide about their destination. It is democracy. We must accept it perforce.

(In parenthesis: i think this problem historically, is a Britain’s mischief!)


About Iraq:

i wanted to explain we believe West intentions aren’t honestly. They talk about democracy, freedom; peace, security and … but history of their actions doesn’t show this. Please check this and this again!


And i deny Iran’s opposition about democracy in Iraq. These are big West’s lies. When our friends elected in Iraq (and check this), Why we should deny democracy in Iraq!!?! Iraqis also deny this. We certainly support democracy in Iraq. i repeat we don’t need to impose our beliefs to others.


About our nuclear rights:

i must repeat we (as same as you and others) have right to have nuclear technologies. We never claim we want nuclear weapons. We don’t need and can’t use nuclear weapons. We –up to now- never break any international rule and IAEA cannot render any evidence that shows opposition of our claimants. We (all of Iranians) insist of our right.



i repeat, we (and probably you) believe any tyrannous base cannot live permanently. This is God’s promise.


i hope, i could express my ideas goodly.

Thanks very much.

Posted by: an iranian boy at January 25, 2006 05:12 PM

I'm actually afraid to say how I feel. I'm 44yrs old. An American. We all know Americans are from everywhere else, but, we make up America. I was fortunate to have traveled to many countries in my life. Instead of saying the world is one, I realized we are all so different. Even within our own country. I can only pray to God, to my God, to my Jesus, whom I believe with all my heart hears me. I was in my home when I saw the planes go into The Trade Center. I worked at a prominent newspaper in Florida. Anthrax. What could be next, except having powder on our mail? Having our mail center sent to another destination. Having classes in what to look for in mail that may not be 'right'. Being told to wash our hands after touching mail.
One minute we are in Afghanistan, and the next, in Iraq. I started paying more attention to reading the newspaper and other forms of getting my information and being concerned about life. About people. About prejudice. And fear. Fear will change a person, forever. I am afraid.
My anxiety turned to social anxiety and I changed careers as I had no trust anymore or desire to work directly with the Public. I have read all the posts on here. The one thing that seems to stay in my mind is a country wanting Isarael off the face of the map. For what ever reasons, I knew this would happen. I think democracy is great. But is it right to try and make everyone's society democratic, and though I am a devout Christian, it isn't any more right to do this than to force Christianity on others. We have killed people for it. And now people are being killed in the name of democracy. I would love to say I am not prejudice. But, my intelligence tells me that to some extent we all are. It is almost as if we have to be a bit to feel some protection from some group that might help us from slavery again, or war. I am afraid! Is that prejudice I ask myself? Afraid to trust anyone from the middle east? To trust anyone in America who is Muslim? I don't know. I just find myself wanting my mommy to make it all better. Too bad. I am on my own. NO living family. Husband who died of AIDS. Yes, my daughter and I are fine. I lived next to death. In a hospice. In a war zone, but it was a disease that did the killing and torturing. There are so many causes to put your energy into. Knowledge is power they taught us in school. As I have said, I have traveled alot in my life. And in my twenties realized we are as different as night and day. Heck, New Yorker's or people from large cities make up such a small amount of Americans as a whole. And we are different. I have to believe in my God -that there is a reason. I pray to my beloved Jesus. To not fall pray to prejudice. I am just being honest in admitting it. I am scared.
Cartoons pissing people off to riot when these same people may strap a bomb to themselves and kill? Hey, that is as real as it gets.

Posted by: Michele at February 15, 2006 11:29 PM